Classifications of cultures
Good morning everyone, today we'll look at culture or rather classifications of cultures.
Usually when we deal with different people, we deal with them as if we were all members of the same culture.
However, it's possible that people from different cultures have different assumptions about the world, regarding such important and basic ideas as time, personal space.
And this is the view of Edward Hall.
And Edward Hall is an anthropologist who spent a large part of his life studying American Indians, their culture, their language, but he was different from a lot of other anthropologists who just study one culture.
He was interested in the relations between cultures, how cultures interact.
What Hall believes is that cultures can be classified by placing them on a continuing, ranging from what he called high-context to low-context.
OK, what is a high-context culture?
A high-context culture is a culture in which the context of the message or the action or an event carries a large part of its meaning and significance.
What this means is that in a high-context culture more attention is paid to what's happening in and around the message than to the message itself.
Now let me give you examples.
First in terms of personal space, generally speaking in a high-context culture, because there's a greater dependency on group thinking, people lean towards heavier sensory involvement or closeness to people.
And they have less respect for privacy, for personal space.
If you go into that culture, people might stand closer when they're talking to you.
They might touch more and if they're justled in a crowd, they won't feel violated.
And also people from a high-context culture pay attention to body language.
Because remember what I said, the definition of a high-context culture is that more attention is paid to the context of the message than to themessage itself.
And part of the context is body language.